Just do it

Nike got it right with “just do it” – I think the most effective way of learning (once given some proper guidance and with good caring mentorship) is to “just do it”.  With the proper support, love, care, it’s okay to just do it – without fear of devastating failure, why not?  I also believe (and from my own experience) just doing it/something is one of the best ways to re-train our minds (what Paul in the book of Romans refers to as “the renewing of the mind”).

I really can not recall a time where I “just did it” and regretted the learning outcome, I honestly can’t.  Each time I have been rewarded with the fantastic feeling of overcoming fears, more confidence, and just good warm fuzzies.  Of course having a good coach and cheerleader behind you is key to the success of “just do it”.  Sometimes (just ask Alexis) I find myself saying JUST DO IT without the encouragement and support that I have been given…. um don’t do that to others, and don’t let yourself be in that place… it’s not fun, for either party.

Being comfortable in my own skin

One would hope that after being on this planet for nearly 30 years I would be comfortable being myself… but for whatever reasons stupid insecurities still creep up, and it drives me fricken crazy.  It’s always silly stuff too, but I realize it’s always the things that haunted me as a grade schooler as well… the same feelings.  So, I can either just accept this, as part of who I am and really just be okay with it, or I can continue to be distracted and held back by it.

I want to just be ok, but it’s a matter of retraining my head to match my heart, and both of them to match reality/truth – no one really cares about the things that I feel embarrassed/insecure about.  It’s ok!  The thoughts in my head are always whispering about what people think of me… and I’m here to say the truth – people like me!  It’s been hard enough to get where I am, I don’t need to keep on “working” at it.  This is one thing that I think I’m okay with saying “I’ve arrived” – now get off the plane and see reality for what it’s always been.

A swarm of thoughts

So much of the time I shy away from writing something on here because I begin to think for people, and most of the time I think they’ll think I’m being too negative, or I think they’ll read it as “complaining”, I just want to let you know (even if you never thought those things) that my heart has never been in those places, although my mood certainly has.  I’m in a place in my life where I’m feeling good and content with where God has me, and at the same time, I’m discontent with where I spend most of my days, stuck up in an office.

The funny thing is, I really like my job, but when I start to think about the time it requires I am not too happy with it, as I would much rather be free to meet with friends, have coffee (or beer), love on people, spend time with my bride and daughter, etc.  However, I still really like the job, and I love working with the people God has placed around me.  It’s kind of a weird paradox, a love/hate kind of issue.  So, overall I am content, but there is definitely something inside me that wants more, and I’m trying very hard to hear what God has to say about that.

I know it is through discipline in Christ that I’ll find fulfillment.  Today I was reading Proverbs 12, and the first verse captured me – “To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction” – I’ve always been one to accept correction, to seek his discipline….  that is at least what people could see.  Now that God has been showing me (through marriage) how much more I need to seek his discipline, I have found myself unusually closed up, unwanting to change.

Thankfully, I think God is turning a key, opening a door, and doing new and greater things in me.  I think I’ve began to let him.  It’s hard, it burns, but it feels right.  As seek his healing in these areas I know his promises will become true, and I’ll be more free.

Voices of the past

I have been reading Don Miller’s “Blue like Jazz” for a week or so now, on my daily 1 hour commute each way.  The MAX can be quite the cultural experience, and for the most part I like it.  But combine a challenging book such as “Blue like jazz” and you might just end up frustrated.  You see, this book gets to the core of what Christianity really is, really “should” be, the spiritual piece, not the standard life-behavior rhetoric we usually hear.

But this triggers voices inside that are at odds with my origins.  First of all I’m suddenly convicted of not caring for people when I thought I did – my head does, I know what is right but if I don’t actually do it – then do I really believe it?  For example, there was a guy who got on the train at the same place as I, he was quite confused, a little slow, and kept bothering people on how to get to some place he had written on a piece of paper.  The whole time I heard God telling me to help him, possibly go with him the whole way to his destination… but the voice of fear said otherwise, and I kept reading the book – which threw me into a tornado of thoughts, and made me realize how much I fear rejection – even though I don’t let it emotionally bother me – but that’s probably because I don’t let it happen anymore.

None the less I am sure God put another person on the train – because moments later another guy got on and sat next to the confused dude, and within minutes he was describing to him in details how the Portland Transit system works, and where to get off to get to his destination (which apparently didn’t make sense, something like take the Yamhill bus to 10, and 10 to Yamhill… ummm).  Anyway – this is just a very small example of the thoughts going on from about 6am to 7am and 3:30 to 4:30 these days.


I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting, but I’m not quite sure where to begin… my eyes are burning right now, so I think I’ll goto sleep.  But I wanted to say something.  I miss writing, there is so much to do, both what I want, and what I need to do.  To sum life up – it’s been abundant and full – undeniably due to our God.

This is the last night.

This is my last night, because God is challenging me to new depths, this is the last night, because God is asking me to take up what I have and do something with it. 

Tonight’s message was thought provoking and Spirit encouraging.  God is in the bussiness of growing us closer to Him.

I’ve been fighting a decent amount of fear, stress, and overall the feeling of “not being understood”.  Nearly all of it relates to my calling, Poland, Pastoring, Mentoring, Speaking, and just about everything in between.

I’m being challenged to “just do it”.  I’m looking for affirmation in all the wrong places, the only place I’ll see it, and I’ve ever had it, is in Jesus.  He’s ordered it, and he will see to it that he gets it.

That’s not what I meant!

Have you ever had a meeting with someone, someone important in your life, like a boss, mentor, maybe a parent, or pastor, that after you left the meeting you said to yourself “dang I should have said this or that” or “why did I say that!” and you just can’t stop thinking about it? 

Well that’s me these past few weeks.. I was asked the question “what other kinds of things do you see yourself doing in the future”?  I replied with the strangest answers… only one was something I have a small passion for (writing), the rest was just filler, it wasn’t anything that I really would have liked to do, except just “vocational” things.  The truth is, my heart, my passion, and dare I say “calling” is in pastoral ministry.

After listening to the message tonight at church I’ve realized that I’ve let some of my fears prevent me from confidently walking in this calling.  Yes, I’m leading in a number of areas, and yes we plan on going to Poland in about two years for full time vocational ministry – yet, why didn’t I say that?  I think it’s because to say it to someone that is important in my life is like getting your driving license, or stepping foot on a university campus for the first time as a student – it “makes it real”.

Of course I can’t just self-declare this kind of thing, but I can align my life to it by having faith in what God has called me to, and not shying away for fear that “man” won’t accept it.  Man will because God has called it, but nothing will happen unless I walk it out first.

PS.  We’re looking for 467 people to donate $15, what’s a few Starbucks drinks?

Home alone

I’m home alone right now, Alexis and Emma are at a baby shower – the only sound is the trickle of water flowing into our very dirty fish tank (and that’s an understatment).  I’m putting together a support letter and other information for Poland and am enjoying the aloneness quite well.  Today we went to a Polish place for lunch, I always like going there, although today we were rushed, not so fun.  Maybe a couple weeks from now we’ll go again and not be rushed.

Misja Polska – Mission Poland

Watching people and reflecting…

For the past week I’ve been doing a lot of my work from Starbucks, seeing as I pay for T-Mobile’s web service on my phone and included is there wi-fi hotspots, why not use it? So, with that I’ve been watching people, lots of people. Sometimes somone will come in and God reveals something about that person to me, usually I pray, sometimes I smile, other times it’s a simple nod.

I’m enjoying it, it’s refreshing to be with people and practice listening to God’s heart. It’s encouraging, and it helps focus me on what I may share this week at the Forge. Also, as I mentioned on our other blog, there have been so many other Jesus followers here, every day, multiple times a day, salting I hope. Live. Love. Laugh. That’s what I have learned from sitting at Starbucks for three days.

Hmm… just realized that I referenced I’ll be speaking on Thursday – it came out so natural, without hesitation, in the past I was almost afraid to say anything about speaking – disguised as “not wanting to gloat” – while of course I still don’t want to do that, I am feeling like what I have to share is life nurturing. May there be growth in me? Humility, it’s a tension.

The sex fight

For a lot of Christian men there is a struggle to keep sexually pure. Now I realize that there are a lot of definitions of “purity” out there, it seem that some think masterbation is okay, and others think dressing in a sexually attractive way is okay, while some believe that not talking about any of these things is okay as well. Yes, we’ve heard this over and over, and I am still not convinced that the Church at large (the full body of Christ) has really taken this on. As I speak to more and more men I realize the need for a new Church culture that speaks Truth and Grace into the suxual purity issue.

I guess I take a hybrid, or middle of the ground, approach to these things. I believe that most of the time people don’t take a deep look into the reasons behind these struggles. We, in the Church, have taken the appraoch of “think no evil, see no evil, speak no evil”. When, from what I observe this has lead us to isolation, shame, doubt, and in many cases deep wounds that fester anger and fear, Jesus instructed us to not have even a hint of lust. Yet he forgives.

You see, I know that the enemy plays with this part of our lives because it is so destructive towards our ability to relate to God, and to others. We can easily become isolated and cut off and then allowing people to Love us, and for us to Love others becomes increasingly hard due to the shame that surrounds our heart. So I ask, what is the root of these “problems”, how do we replace these desires with healthy ones? What is a healthy desire?

I am far from the answer, only recently have I began to fully grasp the freedom of exercising true freedom in this area. My past makes it difficult, but I know that He who is in me, is stronger than he who is in the world.